Planning a sailing trip can be a lot of fun whether you are going alone or in the company of friends and family. It's even better when you hire your own boat because you have absolute control over where you go, how long you stay out in the water and when you come back. You're literally the captain of your own 'ship'.
In order to ensure that you have the best time possible, there are a few things you should consider before you begin your adventure.
Acquire/Renew your boating license
As you plan all the fun things you are going to do out in the water, make sure that you have a valid boating license. It can be quite a bummer to get in trouble with authorities because you don't have the proper documentation.
Each state has different requirements for acquiring, renewing or replacing your boating license, which you can check online. In addition, if you are planning to go to another state, you should check if you will need an interstate license.
Take the Boating Safety Course
If you haven't been out on a boating trip for a while, you may need to brush up on your safety procedures, especially if you will be having passengers on board.
There are some states that include this course as part of the process of getting your boating license, while others view it as an additional course. The course is relatively simple to take; you can watch a DVD or attend a training provided by a recognised trainer. Your passengers can attend the course as well; after all, it's always better to be over-prepared than underprepared.
Map out your trip clearly
Having a clear picture of where exactly you will be going is important from the outset. Take a map of the area, and chart your course as precisely as possible, then consult with the boat hiring company on what you should expect along your course.
This will help you to prepare in advance for any situations that are likely to creep up along your journey, as well as plan for the perfect spots to stop for diving, swimming, fishing or any other activities you may have planned.
Remember the safety equipment, personal essentials, and a few extras
As the captain, it is your responsibility to ensure that all the necessary safety equipment is on-board and fully functional before embarking on your trip. Make sure that there are enough safety jackets for everyone and that they all work. Also, check that the first-aid kit is fully functional and that you have extra fuel on-board as well. The boats communication equipment should also be fully functional, and you should have the radio signals of emergency crews and the boat hiring company displayed in a visible area.
Remember to carry bottled water that is more than enough for everyone on board. Towels, hats, sunscreen, towels and snacks are also important. Make sure anyone on life-sustaining medication carries an extra dose and that everyone carries enough clothes to stay warm in case of a change in the weather.
With these four things done, you should be ready to have fun on your boating trip and make memories that will last a lifetime. For more information on self--drive boat hire, contact a local professional.